• Press Release: Bilateral Agreement On Rohingya Repatriation Deeply Flawed

    [30 November, 2017, London] – On November 23rd, Burma and Bangladesh signed an agreement concerning the repatriation of Rohingya Muslims who fled the country following a targeted violent campaign by the Burmese security forces. Commenting on the plan today, Burma Human Rights Network Executive Director Kyaw Win said:

    “What has been agreed to by the Burmese and Bangladeshi Governments is inadequate in addressing even the most basic concerns of the displaced. The proposed plan makes no effort to address the statelessness and suffering of the Rohingya. In parallel there is insufficient explanation of the verification process for the returnees who have lost relevant documents due to arson attacks by security forces. We therefore urge the international community to reject this plan as it stands, and instead press Bangladesh and Burma to make appropriate revisions, including by ensuring that the UNHCR has a formal role in the return process, to ultimately enable the successful repatriation of the Rohingya”.

    Continue reading
  • Press Release: As Tillerson Visits Burma International Pressure and Action are Essential

    16 November, 2017, London, UK – As the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits Burma he arrives at a time where his influence and the pressure of the international community is vital to address the situation in Burma’s western Rakhine State. To date over 600,000 Rohingya have fled from the country following a ruthless campaign by the Burmese Military that included murder, torture, forced starvation and rape. At the time of this writing reports of arbitrary arrests persist and video continues to emerge of Rohingya villages being burnt to the ground by vigilante mobs and security forces, despite the outcry of the international community. Those Rohingya remaining in Burma have faced severe shortages of food and aid as restrictions have blocked nearly all INGOs from accessing them and the access recently given to the Red Cross appears to still be extremely limited. The situation as it currently stands cannot be allowed to continue and it is apparent now that the assistance of Secretary of State Tillerson and the international community is the only avenue to alter its course for the better.

    Recent moves by the international community have successfully created an atmosphere of pressure on the Burmese Government to address the issues in Rakhine State, but further pressure remains necessary to create meaningful actions and restore equity and calm. The Burmese Military recently issued a report detailing an investigation into its own actions and has predictably made the argument that no wrongdoing was committed. This report, while hard to take seriously, is also meant to create the illusion that something is being done and to waste the time of the international community while avoiding concrete actions.

    Continue reading

BHRN Calls For Immediate Release Of Journalists And Their Drivers Over Drone Use

31 October 2017, London, U.K – The Burma Human Rights Network calls for the release of photographer and journalist Aung Naing Soe, foreign journalists Lau Hon Meng and Mok Choy Lin and their driver Hla Tin, who were arrested on October 27th on charges connected to the illegal importing or exporting of restricted or banned goods without a license after their crew flew a drone over the Burmese Parliament. While Aung Naing Soe was in custody police confiscated electronics from his house, including his laptop, for reasons that seem unlikely to be related to his case. While the possession and use of the drone may have been in violation of the law, Aung Naing Soe was working as a translator, and his role, as well as the role of Hla Tin’s, seems minimal at most. Even with the use of the drone in violation of the law, he and the others face a potential three years in prison for a minor crime that should result in little more than a fine. Aung Naing Soe has previously drawn negative attention in Burma due to his religious background and willingness to fairly cover discrimination and undemocratic events inside the country.

“The Judiciary system in Burma is as corrupt and biased as its political system. Since the election of the NLD government, freedom of speech and media freedom have been significantly compromised. Burmese military propaganda has effectively changed people’s mindsets by portraying journalists and media as a threat and consequently many of Burma’s democratic reforms are paralysed, ” said Kyaw Win, executive director of Burma Human Rights Network.

Continue Reading

Print Email

Food Shortages Continue Throughout All of Rakhine State as Rohingya Continue to Flee

17 October 2017, London, UK – The Burma Human Rights Network has observed large scale food shortages throughout Rakhine State caused by restrictions on aid distribution for nearly all NGOs operating in the state besides the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who is working in coordination with Myanmar’s Relief and Resettlement Department (RRD). As a result several areas, which are dependent on aid, have gone long periods without any arriving. In the north of Rakhine State half the Rohingya population had already fled a military campaign the UN described as, “seeming like a textbook case of ethnic cleansing.” Those remaining in the north continue to flee at an alarming rate, but witness statements indicate they are doing so due to threat of starvation rather than a direct threat from the military. Similarly, food shortages have grown increasingly throughout the Rohingya areas in the rest of the state as new restrictions starting in September were imposed, preventing nearly all NGOs from delivering aid even outside of conflict areas. As a result there is legitimate cause for concern that a new exodus could also emerge from central Rakhine, not unlike the boat exoduses seen in the area in 2014.

In Northern Rakhine Villagers have informed BHRN of large scale fleeing occurring daily. A villager in Thayet Kin Manu, in Buthidaung, stated that of the 165 households in his village, 30 had already fled with another 60 making preparations to do the same in the coming day. The reason, he said was “due to total blockade or restrictions and [because of] starvation people are fleeing continuously.” Another villager also in rural Buthidaung told BHRN, “Lots of people have fled from our village because of starvation and most are daily workers. We are poor because the government confiscated our paddy [field]

Continue Reading

Print Email

Press Release: Rohingya in Buthidaung Fleeing Due to Starvation With Many Stranded and Unable to Escape

11 October 2017, London, UK – The Burma Human Rights Network has been closely monitoring food shortages in Northern Rakhine State following a military crackdown that began in the region after militants attacked 30 police posts on August 25th, 2017. The military’s crackdown has been marked with widespread accusations of Crimes Against Humanity resulting in a mass exodus of nearly half of the Northern Rakhine State’s Rohingya population, leading even the UN to say it “seems a textbook case of ethnic cleansing.” Those remaining have faced continued restrictions on movement preventing them from working or gathering food at a time most aid has been blocked from the region and as a result several locations are facing dire food shortages that locals say may be leading to many areas facing threat of starvation. Northern Rakhine State is composed of three townships; Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung. Arson attacks were frequent in each township after the attacks on August 25th and continue to occur regularly in Maungdaw. Only five Rohingya villages remain undamaged in Rathedaung. Buthidaung has seen fewer arson attacks in recent weeks but worsening food shortages. As food supplies are dwindling many Rohingya, especially in Buthidaung, are fleeing to Bangladesh, but some have become stranded in the process, unable to cross. Rathedaung has previously seen severe shortages of food that caused a mass exodus where 11,000 Rohingya were stranded which was previously documented by BHRN. At the same time Bangladesh has begun a crackdown on boat operators, claiming that some are working as traffickers, which has prevented rescue of some of those stranded.

Continue Reading

Print Email

News on TV

Slide thumbnail
Slide thumbnail
Slide thumbnail
Slide thumbnail
Slide thumbnail
Slide thumbnail
Slide thumbnail
Slide thumbnail
Slide thumbnail
Slide thumbnail